Farhad Moshiri has insisted Everton are not for sale, amid reports that several parties are interested in taking over the Premier League club.
Everton finished 16th last season, their lowest Premier League placing since the 2003-04 campaign, when they came 17th.
Frank Lampard – appointed midway through the season after Rafael Benitez was sacked – managed to secure safety with a game to spare, thanks to a 3-2 comeback win over Crystal Palace at Goodison Park.
However, Everton's reckless spending during the Moshiri era, which began in 2016 and has seen six permanent managers lose their jobs prior to Lampard taking charge, means they were on the brink of breaching the Premier League's profit and sustainability rules.
As such, a large sale was required ahead of the new campaign, with Richarlison sold for a reported £50million, rising to £60m including add-ons, to Tottenham at the end of June.
With a new stadium on Liverpool's waterfront under construction, widespread reports over the off-season have claimed that multiple parties are interested in purchasing Everton.
The most prominent, an American consortium fronted by former Chelsea and Manchester United executive Peter Kenyon, was said to be close to agreeing a deal, with reports even going as far as to say the group were confident of buying the club ahead of the start of Everton's pre-season tour of the United States.
That tour is now under way and with no deal having been completed, Moshiri has now insisted the club has not been up for sale, though he acknowledged he is hoping to find additional investors.
In a statement issued on Everton's official website, he said: "There has been much talk of investment in our football club recently – even takeovers – but I want to clarify that there is no 'for sale' sign currently hanging outside Everton Football Club.
"It will always be pragmatic to explore all potential investment opportunities and, as I have been transparent about, I am focused on completing the financing for our fantastic new stadium as well as strengthening the playing squad and that might include a minority investment. That will continue. But I want to reassure all of you that Everton Football Club is not for sale."
While Richarlison has been sold and Fabian Delph, Jonjoe Kenny, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Cenk Tosun have all left on free transfers, with loan deals for Donny van de Beek and Anwar El Ghazi expiring, only James Tarkowski – on a free from relegated Burnley – has joined Everton so far.
But Moshiri is adamant the squad will be added to, despite Everton's financial constraints.
"My commitment to the club remains strong and focused and [director of football] Kevin Thelwell and the chairman [Bill Kenwright] are currently working hard to bring in new players to improve Frank Lampard’s squad," the statement continued.
"There will be new signings and I would ask supporters to judge us at the end of the transfer window – not now – and to listen to official club channels for information."